Safe Cleaning for Hands
A ‘tradesperson’s hands are his most valuable assets’…… can buy all the fancy power tools in the world but you only get one set of hands to work with, so you’d better look after them.

Dermatitis in the workplace

Sore, dry and cracked hands can be a serious problem for tradesmen who get caked in paints, adhesives, PU foam, silicones, epoxies and general muck during a day’s work.

With around 40,000 new cases of work-related contact dermatitis reported each year, exposure takes its toll and can leave sufferers in crippling pain - and millions of pounds are lost each year in sick days.

Work-related Contact Dermatitis - The Facts:

What is Contact Dermatitis?

Contact Dermatitis is an inflammation of the skin that results from contact of an external substance with the skin. It most commonly affects the hands and the severity of the condition is influenced by the duration of exposure, the regularity of contact and the strength of the concentration of the substance.

How can I get Contact Dermatitis?

If your skin is in contact with an irritant (e.g. harsh and abrasive substances, solvents, detergents, wet cement, petrol, degreasers, descalers, dust, soil), the top layer of protective skin can be removed, as well as stripping the skin off its natural oils. Almost all workers in wet-work industries, such as cleaning, engineering, building-site work, etc develop some degree of irritant contact dermatitis.


What are the symptoms of Contact Dermatitis?

Dryness, redness, soreness, burning and itchiness of the skin are usually the first symptoms but these can deteriorate into a debilitating and painful condition if not treated. Blisters, swelling, flaking and cracking of the skin could be the next stage of dermatitis. The symptoms only occur on areas of the skin exposed to the irritant.

What can I do to treat Contact Dermatitis?

Moisturisers, emollients, topical steroids and in some cases, antibiotics, may be suggested by your doctor or chemist to help clear symptoms. Even when the skin appears to be healed, its protective capacity could remain impaired for weeks.

What can I do to prevent Contact Dermatitis?

If avoiding the causative substance is not possible, then prompt and thorough cleaning of the skin after coming into contact with potential irritants is crucial in the prevention of dermatitis.

When water or washing facilities are not accessible, then dermatologically tested products such as the range of portable Big Wipes industrial pre-moistened hand cleaning wipes are the ideal solution for removing a vast variety of hazardous and non-hazardous substances from the skin.

Big Wipes hand cleansing wipes remove anything from water and oil-based paints to varnishes, silicone sealants, oils, epoxies and stubborn PU expanding foams and adhesives. Plus, these heavy-duty cleaning wipes contain Vitamin E and Aloe Vera, helping to nourish and protect the skin and thus preventing hands from becoming dry and cracked, both painful symptoms of dermatitis. As Big Wipes can be thrown in the bin as soon as they have been used, the chance of contamination and the spread of dermatitis, which is often the case with shared tubs of hand cleaning gel, is greatly reduced.

Where water or washing facilities are available on site, Big Wipes Power Gel is ideal for tradesmen who are looking for a deep cleaning multi-purpose hand cleaner. The product remains unique in its ability to remove uncured paint, adhesives, silicone, epoxy, PU foam, oil, grease and much more. The secret of this powerful hand cleaner is in its added natural pumice, which ensures a faster, more effective deep clean, but leaves the skin feeling smooth.

Nigel Dibbo, Managing Director Big Wipes, commented:
“Employers have a legal duty to eliminate or reduce the exposure of their workforce to hazardous substances and provide their employees with personal protection, which includes suitable equipment for cleaning contaminants from worker’s hands. When it comes to beating dermatitis, prevention is always better than cure.

We understand that tradesmen are often unable to head to a sink to clean up, but simply wiping their hands down their work gear or on a rag does not get the muck and grime off and can leave their skin sore - and susceptible to infection and dermatitis.

The whole range of Big Wipes industrial cleaning wipes contain a fully biodegradable, low alcohol cleaning formula that complies with the latest EU Cosmetics Directive.
Zero levels of irritation were recorded during controlled testing by dermatologists.”

Nigel concluded:
“Big Wipes offers a host of tough fabric hand cleaning wipes, which outperform other brands in cleaning power, health and safety and convenience. Big Wipes products also carry the additional benefit of an effective antibacterial accreditation, which provides extra protection to users working in potentially hazardous environments. If the long term treatment of avoidance of the offending substance altogether is not an option, then Big Wipes industrial cleaning wipes are a health and safety must in the fight against dermatitis.”

For more information on work-related dermatitis and Health and Safety legislation, visit

Dermatological testing
Meeting the NEW EU REGULATION (EC) No 1223/2009 - Cosmetic Products does not guarantee a product won't irritate skin. At Sycamore UK Ltd we go much further.
Big Wipes were designed for use on hands and are dermatologically tested. This gives extra reassurance that they may be tough on cleaning but are kind to hands.
The dermatology tests are carried out independently by SGS professional dermatologists on a cross-section of people to ensure that there are zero levels of irritation experienced across the entire volunteer group. Competitors, who make dermatology claims, often attempt to rely on inadequate replica tests on animals, or unsubstantiated comparative testing against competitors' products that only demonstrates that their products are "less irritating" than others.

For a summary of all our stringent tests, please follow this link

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